8 votes

What have you been eating, drinking, and cooking?

What food and drinks have you been enjoying (or not enjoying) recently? Have you cooked or created anything interesting? Tell us about it!

25 comments

  1. [24]
    kwyjibo
    Link
    I haven't been cooking anything worth mentioning (I live alone and have a boring taste), but a month ago I changed my cookware and completely moved on to cast iron. I tend to over-research...

    I haven't been cooking anything worth mentioning (I live alone and have a boring taste), but a month ago I changed my cookware and completely moved on to cast iron. I tend to over-research whatever it is I'm planning on buying and my cast iron research kind of spooked me, but I went against my gut and bought myself a Staub. I cooked different kinds of stew in it and some things that are not necessarily suited for the pot (breakfast food) and soon I realized my fears were unfounded and it was all upside. It cooks like a dream and it got me into the habit of eating more health. (I even started eating onions and cooked carrots because of it.)

    I loved the experience so much, two weeks later I ordered a Lodge cast iron skillet, which I had to pay double for it because of international shipping. (I had to because I learned that non-enameled cast iron is illegal in my country.) The skillet arrived 4 days ago and I've been cooking with it ever since. Non-enameled cast iron is a different beast, but it also cooks great. I'm going to have my mother over soon (who's endearingly proud of me for being so involved with my kitchen) and I'm going to make her a pizza on it. My oven kind of sucks but I'm hoping it will turn out well. (I might post pictures here if I can remember.)

    Anyways, to make my comment slightly more relevant, here are the pictures of the first meals I cooked on both cookware: first one is a simple stew. I basically threw whatever I had in the fridge and this was the result. The second one is, I don't even know what you'd call this. Grilled burrito? I cracked two eggs, waited a few seconds, put a tortilla on top of it, flipped it over and put cheese, salami, tomatoes, green olives and some dried thyme on one half of it and wrapped it around. Let it sit on the skillet for about 2 minutes (1 minute per side) and that was the result. Extremely simple and very tasty.

    I'm hoping I can make something different from time to time, but time will tell. I feel like I still need to learn how to handle heat with these cookware better. I have years of nonstick cookware way of doing things I need to forget.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Thra11
      Link Parent
      I don't want to be too nosy, but I'm curious as to why non-enameled cast iron would be illegal. Presumably illegal to make or to sell, but not to own, if they let you import it?

      (I had to because I learned that non-enameled cast iron is illegal in my country.)

      I don't want to be too nosy, but I'm curious as to why non-enameled cast iron would be illegal. Presumably illegal to make or to sell, but not to own, if they let you import it?

      3 votes
      1. kwyjibo
        Link Parent
        You're not being noisy at all, but unfortunately I don't have an answer to give you. I was very surprised by the ban myself and tried to find some answers but came up empty. The only information I...

        You're not being noisy at all, but unfortunately I don't have an answer to give you. I was very surprised by the ban myself and tried to find some answers but came up empty. The only information I could find was almost a decade ago the government banned its use, but I don't know to what extent the ban goes but I wouldn't be surprised if it's an all-encompassing ban. Despite the ban though, I did find two different under the counter people (not even companies, literally people who I assumed to be welders) who sell non-enameled cast irons online but I just couldn't trust the quality of their product. They didn't even have any kind of variety to speak of.

        As for the reason for the ban, I guess, is because non-enameled cast iron has the ability to transfer iron into your food, especially so if you're cooking acidic foods and that can be harmful for people with certain conditions? I don't even know if that's true but I can't think of any other reason.

        I suppose I was only able to get my non-enameled cast iron slipped by the customs simply because it's a very obscure product. Also, enameled cast iron is completely legal. I bought my Staub from a reputable domestic store but if you have no experience with a cast iron, it'd be hard to differentiate an enameled from a non-enameled cast iron and that's assuming you're even aware of this ban to begin with. So I basically trusted the ignorance of the inspector at the customs and it worked.

        1 vote
    2. [4]
      vektor
      Link Parent
      I've got the same Staub. Sadly-ish, I went flexitarian (that a thing in english? Very low meat, but I'll eat some if I'm eating out or I'm out of vegetarian ideas) before working myself up to...

      I've got the same Staub. Sadly-ish, I went flexitarian (that a thing in english? Very low meat, but I'll eat some if I'm eating out or I'm out of vegetarian ideas) before working myself up to cooking stews and stuff in it. Still useful in a mostly meatless diet, but cast iron really shines when cooking meat. Currently, it's sitting in the fridge with leftovers in it... call it bolognese gratin. Soy-based "ground meat", if you think I'm contradicting myself here.

      Ohh, btw.: Adam Ragusea recently published a beef stew recipe. - if you're interested. Seems like it'd be fun to make in the Staub. Screw tinfoil, I've got a lid.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        kwyjibo
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Oh, nice! I hope you're as happy with yours as I am with mine. I had to look up what flexitarian meant but it seems to be a word! I don't know if I would call myself one since I do eat chicken two...

        Oh, nice! I hope you're as happy with yours as I am with mine. I had to look up what flexitarian meant but it seems to be a word! I don't know if I would call myself one since I do eat chicken two or three times a week, but I very rarely eat red meat. I'm also very particular about chicken and red meats. (I cannot eat either if there's a lot of fat on it. I can tolerate some.) I do agree that cast iron really shines with meat.

        Bolognese gratin looks amazing. I bet it's delicious. Are you supposed to leave leftovers in Staubs or any other enameled cast iron though? I thought the acidity of the food could damage its enamel over time. I know you can cook whatever acidic food you want on enameled cast iron but I'm not too sure about leaving them in. I've been cautious not to do that.

        That beef recipe video looks amazing. It's right on the cusp of how much fat I can tolerate on my red meat too, so I might definitely try this one day. I love how thick that sauce looks!

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          vektor
          Link Parent
          That's a fair point. I'm not sure. My thinking was that glass is basically impervious to acid, but that might be different for thinner layers of glass. I've had mine for a few years and I've...

          Are you supposed to leave leftovers in Staubs or any other enameled cast iron though? I thought the acidity of the food could damage its enamel over time. I know you can cook whatever acidic food you want on enameled cast iron but I'm not too sure about leaving them in. I've been cautious not to do that.

          That's a fair point. I'm not sure. My thinking was that glass is basically impervious to acid, but that might be different for thinner layers of glass. I've had mine for a few years and I've occasionally seen a bit of white... residue or discoloration on the bottom that is a bit tough to get out, but I think it's not permanent. I should take better care, thanks for the hint. I tend to leave my leftovers in the cooking vessels whenever possible because I'm that kind of lazy, but in the case of the cast iron I'm not sure that's the right think to do.

          2 votes
          1. kwyjibo
            Link Parent
            Yeah, I can't make a certain call on it but I guess it wouldn't hurt to move your leftovers to a container. I'm erring on the side of caution. I also don't want to torture my fridge with that...

            Yeah, I can't make a certain call on it but I guess it wouldn't hurt to move your leftovers to a container. I'm erring on the side of caution. I also don't want to torture my fridge with that heavy thing! 😂

            Are you oiling your cocotte after washing and drying it off? I've been doing that. I know there shouldn't be any need to do that since you can't season an enameled cast iron, but Staub's manual recommends you doing that (they give the same advice on their YouTube page). Apparently it's not for seasoning reasons but for the health of the enamel. (Plus the oil makes it look good and shiny.)

            I'm sure those spots are nothing. They seem to happen over time no matter how careful you are with the enamel.

            1 vote
    3. [14]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      That's my go to method for making most of my soups and stews too. :P I rarely ever bother with recipes for those dishes. IMO the key is just to add whatever you have in your fridge/freezer that...

      I basically threw whatever I had in the fridge and this was the result.

      That's my go to method for making most of my soups and stews too. :P I rarely ever bother with recipes for those dishes. IMO the key is just to add whatever you have in your fridge/freezer that sound like they would go well together, season the soup/stew carefully over time, tasting after each addition, until you build up a flavor profile that you enjoy.

      p.s. That grilled breakfast burrito (which is what I would call it) looks incredible.

      2 votes
      1. [13]
        kwyjibo
        Link Parent
        Yeah, I think throwing in whatever you have is a good idea. I even used bulgur once, because I always eat stew with either rice or bulgur, so I thought, why not combine them. It's more practical!...

        Yeah, I think throwing in whatever you have is a good idea. I even used bulgur once, because I always eat stew with either rice or bulgur, so I thought, why not combine them. It's more practical! And it turned out great. The cocotte feels like a superpower, honestly. Throw in whatever (within reasonable boundaries like you mentioned, of course) and it turns into delicious food.

        Thank you for pointing out the name. (And for the nice words!)

        1 vote
        1. [12]
          cfabbro
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I regularly throw random grains and legumes in with my soups and stews too, to bulk them up for the winter months. Barley and black bean is an especially nice combo, IMO.

          Yeah, I regularly throw random grains and legumes in with my soups and stews too, to bulk them up for the winter months. Barley and black bean is an especially nice combo, IMO.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            vektor
            Link Parent
            Barley? In a stew? What's that do, flavor wise? Never really ate barley, only ever "drank it", so I've got no point of reference. I assume a good bit more "raw" than wheat, kinda relating to wheat...

            Barley? In a stew? What's that do, flavor wise? Never really ate barley, only ever "drank it", so I've got no point of reference. I assume a good bit more "raw" than wheat, kinda relating to wheat like brown rice relates to white rice?

            2 votes
            1. cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              TBH, barley doesn't really have a whole lot of flavor on its own. It's a tiny bit nutty, like brown rice, but it's pretty subtle, so that's not really why you use it. It's more of a textural...

              TBH, barley doesn't really have a whole lot of flavor on its own. It's a tiny bit nutty, like brown rice, but it's pretty subtle, so that's not really why you use it. It's more of a textural thing. Once cooked, it's pleasantly chewy, and also gets almost "fluffy" like popcorn does, is the only way I can think to describe it. And it also adds a "creamy" texture to the stew, from all the starch it releases as it cooks, a bit like risotto. And also like risotto, where it really shines is that it's absolutely amazing at soaking up a shitload of liquid, and absorbing whatever flavors it's cooked in. So how it ends up tasting is entirely dependent on what broth, aromatics, and spices you use.

              2 votes
          2. [9]
            kwyjibo
            Link Parent
            I don't think we have black beans here, but I did make something similar the other day. I used kidney beans and a different version of bulgur (bigger ones, I don't know what they're called in...

            I don't think we have black beans here, but I did make something similar the other day. I used kidney beans and a different version of bulgur (bigger ones, I don't know what they're called in English if there even is a word for it) and it turned out great. They are indeed great foods for winter. They're very filling too, unlike most things I eat.

            1 vote
            1. [8]
              cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Not going to lie, I don't think I have ever had bulgur (in any form) before. I'm going to have to seek some out and give it a try! I'm generally not a fan of kidney beans though, since the tough...

              Not going to lie, I don't think I have ever had bulgur (in any form) before. I'm going to have to seek some out and give it a try!

              I'm generally not a fan of kidney beans though, since the tough texture of their skins kinda ruins it for me. And when used in soups, the skins sometimes slip off the kidney beans and float around on their own too, which is doubly gross to me. :P

              I don't mind kidney beans in chili and thicker stews though, since they hold together better in those. But I generally prefer cannellini, garbanzo/chickpea, split pea, or black beans in my soups.

              2 votes
              1. [7]
                kwyjibo
                Link Parent
                From my experience, bulgur can be relatively hard to find in stores in Europe and the US. If you're in the US, I just checked Amazon and it has the exact brand I'm using, although seeing those...

                From my experience, bulgur can be relatively hard to find in stores in Europe and the US. If you're in the US, I just checked Amazon and it has the exact brand I'm using, although seeing those prices was rather eye-popping. (For reference, I bought these two yesterday and their respective price was 1/10 of what's listed on the page.) I guess they're imported though, so that explains the pricing a bit. If you're indeed going to try it, regardless of the brand, make sure that you get coarse or extra coarse bulgur though. Fine bulgur is only for very specific dishes where you don't do a lot of boiling, if any, because bulgur cooks fast. (No dig at fine bulgur, which is used to make one of my favorite dishes.) I prefer extra coarse bulgur in stews because they can soak so much water. (I'm going to make one today, I'll share a picture with you when it's done!) Don't hesitate to message me if you want some tips, but it's incredibly easy to make bulgur. You really can't do it wrong unless you actively try to.

                I completely understand what you mean by kidney beans. Its texture doesn't bother me, but its skins don't look appealing when they float around like you said. I do not use it a lot though. The last time I made it was not out of choice but necessity, since that's what I had in the fridge. I actually prefer all the things you listed above kidney beans. In fact, I was planning on using garbanzo today :)

                1 vote
                1. [6]
                  cfabbro
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  I'm in Canada, so will probably struggle to find Bulgur in the supermarket here too. But I don't mind ordering from Amazon in situations like this. And you have me intrigued with Bulgur, so I will...

                  I'm in Canada, so will probably struggle to find Bulgur in the supermarket here too. But I don't mind ordering from Amazon in situations like this. And you have me intrigued with Bulgur, so I will probably order some when I wake up later today (I'm lying in bed, at the moment). That price might be a lot compared to what you pay for it, but for me this will be something new and interesting to try, so that's worth paying a bit more for. And if it turns out I like it, then that makes it worth the price even more, too. So it's a win/win for me. :P

                  And thanks for the offer. If I run into any road blocks, or somehow manage to screw it up, I'll reach out to you for advice.

                  p.s. Kısır looks and sounds tasty. If it turns out I like bulgur I will have to pick up some of the finer stuff, and give that dish a try too. It seems very similar to a couscous salad I make on occasion, minus the pomegranate molasses, and olives.

                  1 vote
                  1. [5]
                    kwyjibo
                    Link Parent
                    Ah, that's nice to hear! More people need to be aware of bulgur. It's so versatile and tasty on its own too. Until this year, I suffered from gallbladder stones for 5 years and any food that...

                    Ah, that's nice to hear! More people need to be aware of bulgur. It's so versatile and tasty on its own too. Until this year, I suffered from gallbladder stones for 5 years and any food that contained oil was enough to give me painful cramps. If it weren't for bulgur and chicken breasts, which I was able to cook with no oil whatsoever, I don't know what I would've done. (I hope that wasn't TMI.)

                    And thanks for the offer. If I run into any road blocks, or somehow manage to screw it up, I'll reach out to you for advice.

                    Of course!

                    re: Kısır

                    It is indeed tasty. If you don't end up liking coarse bulgur, you should still give the finer one a go though because they really taste different. You are correct that it is similar to couscous salad. You don't have to use pomegranate molasses, although it's highly recommended because it holds bulgur together and gives it an excellent taste. When I make it, I usually put tomatoes, cucumbers and gherkins in equal measure, pomegranate molasses, parsley, cumin, black pepper, and salt. But like bulgur itself, kısır is also very versatile. You can put a lot of things in it within reason.

                    Good luck!

                    1 vote
                    1. [4]
                      cfabbro
                      Link Parent
                      Not TMI at all. I also suffer from digestive and dietary issues too, so have to be very very careful with what I eat, since certain foods trigger my IBS, and can cause me to have panic attacks....

                      Not TMI at all. I also suffer from digestive and dietary issues too, so have to be very very careful with what I eat, since certain foods trigger my IBS, and can cause me to have panic attacks. E.g. I cannot eat most leafy greens (except spinach and bok choy for some reason), as my stomach cannot seem to properly digest them. I also have to avoid chocolate and everything else with caffeine in it too.

                      And thanks! Thanks for the inspiration too. I can't wait to give the bulgur a try. :)

                      1 vote
                      1. [3]
                        kwyjibo
                        Link Parent
                        Ah damn, I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you don't like most of those things. I'm looking forward to hear your thoughts on bulgur. Good luck again!

                        Ah damn, I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you don't like most of those things.

                        I'm looking forward to hear your thoughts on bulgur. Good luck again!

                        1 vote
                        1. [2]
                          cfabbro
                          Link Parent
                          Thankfully I've never been much for leafy greens, but sadly I do actually love chocolate and coffee. Decaff coffee and white chocolate are decent enough substitutes that I can actually consume...

                          Thankfully I've never been much for leafy greens, but sadly I do actually love chocolate and coffee. Decaff coffee and white chocolate are decent enough substitutes that I can actually consume safely though, so I just make do with those whenever I get a craving for either thing.

                          1 vote
                          1. kwyjibo
                            Link Parent
                            I know how frustrating it can be not being able to consume the things you like but I'm glad to hear you at least have substitutes. (I'm with you on leafy greens. No thank you!)

                            I know how frustrating it can be not being able to consume the things you like but I'm glad to hear you at least have substitutes. (I'm with you on leafy greens. No thank you!)

                            1 vote
    4. [3]
      scrambo
      Link Parent
      Cast Iron is great! I have two pans and a Dutch oven myself, a 12" and a 6", and they're all great. I use the dutch oven a lot for bread and frying chicken, and the seasoning is pristine because...

      Cast Iron is great! I have two pans and a Dutch oven myself, a 12" and a 6", and they're all great. I use the dutch oven a lot for bread and frying chicken, and the seasoning is pristine because of it.

      Be careful about cleaning though, I've fucked up the seasoning on the larger pan by using a bandana to clean it. Normally cotton bandanas would be preferable since they don't leave any material behind BUT this one was made of Nylon, so it melted onto the pan when I was wiping. 🤦‍♂️ I think I'm going to end up paying someone to completely clean and reseason the pan since there's still some residue and that's probably not good to eat lol

      2 votes
      1. vektor
        Link Parent
        If that nylon is still in there, you could try organic solvents, maybe. See if ethanol will dissolve plain nylon; if it does, you can use it to remove the nylon from your pan. If that doesn't...

        If that nylon is still in there, you could try organic solvents, maybe. See if ethanol will dissolve plain nylon; if it does, you can use it to remove the nylon from your pan. If that doesn't work, maybe a more aggressive solvent like mineral spirits or something.

        Actually, a bit of googling turned up that supposedly acetic acid should do the trick. That's 100% vinegar; get it from the cleaning products aisle, not the food aisle, as that would be highly diluted. That stuff has the benefit of being easily cleaned off with water and being food safe. So I'd try acetic acid before I try the organic solvents.

        Then you can reseason your pan, which should also be a thing you can DYI; plenty of guides on that out there.

        3 votes
      2. kwyjibo
        Link Parent
        Ouch! I think I almost made the same mistake you did after my first clean up. I may have even damaged one side of the skillet but I think I acted quickly enough to salvage the situation because I...

        Ouch! I think I almost made the same mistake you did after my first clean up. I may have even damaged one side of the skillet but I think I acted quickly enough to salvage the situation because I cooked a lot more things on it since then and I don't see any damage on it. I'm now only using paper towel to dry it off, but I don't really rub it in too much. If I feel like I have to do that, I just put the skillet on the stove and heat it up a bit.

        You shouldn't be too hard on yourself though. That's what's great about cast iron. It's really hard to ruin it to the point of no return. Look on the bright side, you'll have to season all over again, which is a process I actually liked. I'm sure your new seasoning will be even better.

        2 votes
  2. Magical_Stardust
    Link
    I've been getting into Chinese style cooking and playing with Japanese too. I've had to avoid fat lately so I've been concentrating on getting flavors from spices, hot peppers and things like...

    I've been getting into Chinese style cooking and playing with Japanese too. I've had to avoid fat lately so I've been concentrating on getting flavors from spices, hot peppers and things like bonito flakes, soy sauce etc... Right now I'm focusing on sechuan styles for China which has been really interesting playing with the flavors.

    3 votes